Thursday, March 28, 2013

Joan Joins the Fourth Estate

A murder in a small New York state town creates a firestorm for the locals, including the widow of the victim (Vivienne Osborne as Marcia Ferguson). a neighbor (Leon Ames, here listed as Leon Waycoff, as Judd Brooks) and a local reporter (Tom Brown as Bruce Foster).  In 1932's The Famous Ferguson Case, Joan Blondell is featured as one of the reporters that invades the town in search of sensation. 

On occasion, films from the thirties can feel a bit dated.  However, The Famous Ferguson Case is as timely as the paparazzi that stalk unwary celebrities.  The reporters that descent Cornwall like a plague of locusts are of the yellow variety - creating sensation when they don't find enough to feed their daily news reports; destroying lives in the name of "reporting the facts." Only one talks of the dangers of bad reporting, however no one listens (and quite frankly, he's not the strongest character you've ever met).

Blondell is interesting as the reporter who has seen the seamier side of her profession for all too long.  We are well aware that she has had an affair with Bob Parks (Kenneth Thompson), and she is just short of being appalled at his behavior in Cornwall, mostly because she is all too familiar with his modus apparendi.  Leon Ames is excellent as a man in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Watch for the scene where he finally gets to have HIS "say" in the proceedings.

We heartily recommend this one: an excellent film, with an enjoyable ending. Here's a trailer that might be of some interest.

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